Training Youth

Fred Strohbehn Training Center

Location: Nicaragua

Self-Help International created the Fred Strohbehn Training Center in the southern region of Nicaragua. We wanted to a safe, educational space that could engage local community members, and house our local staff. The Center was built out of recycled materials, and a demonstration plot was constructed around the space—allowing locals to learn how to grow corn to produce higher yields, teach women how to bake using efficient, environmentally-friendly ovens, and present how testing is done to provide clean water using a chlorination system.

These are some of the highlights:

  • 2014: season, more than 1,500 farmers planted certified seed corn through the Center’s agriculture program.
  • 2015:  50 men, 26 women, and 15 youth were trained in improved agronomic practices and seed corn production, and 84 participants of the micro-credit program received educational health sessions.
  • 2016: due to demand, the Center began offering monthly informational sessions about their programs. Since May this year, the Center is now averaging about 26-45 farmers, women, and children per month.

Fran Mueller and Virginia Lageschulte Young Adult Training Center (YATC)

Location: Ghana

Self-Help International’s Ghana office built the Fran Mueller and Virginia Lageschulte Young Adult Training Center (YATC), as a way to educate and teach farmers, mothers, and children.

In its second year of operation, the YATC added on several new agro-enterprises to facilitate employment opportunities for rural youth. This center enables trainees to learn everything from beekeeping to rearing grasscutters to poultry production. Over 65 students completed training modules. As a continuation of this program, four individual graduates and Toase Roman Catholic Junior High School were given micro-loans and ongoing technical training to start their business.

Programs are continually expanding as more communities request to learn new trades and skills to grow their businesses.

The mushroom business was initially lucrative, but the producers were soon confronted with challenges: as more people went into the industry, the demand for spawns began to exceed the supply. The problem was made worse when low quality spawns with poor germination found their way onto the market. The smallholder farmers lost huge sums of money due to bad spawns.  Read more about how a partnership with a farmer-to-farmer initiative  saved employment for farmers.


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